ClubWPT qualifier Marco Soto drives from Florida to California for WPT GPC

Mo Afdhal
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Posted on: May 23, 2023 2:28 am EDT

Marco Soto, of Tampa, Florida, won a seat into the World Poker Tour Gardens Poker Championship via a ClubWPT qualifying event. Against a field of roughly 1,200 other runners, Soto managed to outlast them all to claim his seat at the Main Event.

Soto plays regularly in home games, local tournaments, and the occasional cash game at the Hard Rock Tampa, Tampa Greyhound Track, or Lucky’s Card Room in St. Petersburg.

After fifteen years in the game, Soto found his way to ClubWPT. “Mostly I play ClubWPT, as of the last year. I’m a die-hard, I found a poker home. I really enjoy playing on ClubWPT. To me, it is the best site I’ve played on. Great variety of games and daily chances to qualify for WPT events.”

Marco Soto, WPT

On the dinner break, Soto told PokerOrg that during his qualifying run he was practically unbeatable. “I was playing anything, 7-3, 9-5, it was all hitting. It was just one of those runs, try to have them every time, but it doesn’t always work out.”

Soto’s long road to California

After locking up the seat, some players in Soto’s position might treat themselves to a first-class plane ticket to California. Soto isn’t like the other players.

Instead, he opted to drive himself and his wife Millicent all the way from Tampa, Florida to The Gardens Casino in California, more than 2,000 miles and thirty-six hours on the road. The two of them made a quick pitstop in Dallas to pick up Millicent’s sister and the three of them turned the journey into something of a family road trip vacation. Scenic stops in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico were highlights for the trio.

Marco Soto and Family with WPT Staff and Media, WPT

Unfortunately, Soto’s time in the Main Event came to a close all too soon. After a gutsy, but correct call-down with two-pair, Soto picked up everybody’s least favorite premium holding, pocket jacks, three times. Unsurprisingly, he lost with the jacks each time and that was that. Thankfully, ClubWPT offers their players daily chances to earn entries into WPT events, so rest assured, Soto will return.